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Future dental and medical students at Oregon Health & Science University will be studying in style, if our preview of the new South Waterfront life sciences building is any indication.
Business Journal photographer Cathy Cheney and I got a hard-hat tour of the Collaborative Life Sciences Building & Skourtes Dental Tower on Wednesday, led by Brian Newman, director of Campus Planning, Development & Real Estate for OHSU.
When it’s complete early next year, the complex will be the largest academic and research building in Oregon, encompassing 650,000 total square feet (including underground parking) – plus a 12-story and five-story tower over a two-level podium.
The complex is actually three buildings in one. It also has three owners and users: OHSU, Portland State University and Oregon State University.
There will be classrooms, teaching labs with state-of-the-art equipment, simulation rooms, retail spaces (Elephant’s Delicatessen is on the ground floor), a satellite library, lecture halls, dental clinics and underground, low-vibration microscopy lab with seven electron microscopes.
Students in their first two years of the School of Medicine will be housed in the new facility. It will house OHSU's joint program with Oregon State in Pharmacy, the School of Dentistry and Portland State’s undergraduate classes in chemistry and biology, Newman said.
The total budget for the project is $295 million, and the “most expensive corner,” at $12 million, is the microscopy lab, Newman said.
A lot of the lab spaces on the east side of the building afford sweeping views of the Willamette River and the new pedestrian and light rail bridge under construction connecting the South Waterfront to the east side.
The central atrium is super impressive, with nine bridges connecting through the space, some to include seating, sky lights and an art installation of LED lights on the ceiling and under the bridges to help students cope with Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Another 40-foot-tall statue resembling a tree with pomegranates will sit in the courtyard.
We’ll be visiting the site again when it gets closer to completion. The buildings will be substantially done in February, followed by a dedication in June. It will be fully occupied by next September.
The architects are Portland-based Sera and an L.A.-based Co. The general contractor is JE Dunn.